Saratoga Payback by Stephen Dobyns

Saratoga Payback

Stephen Dobyns

Wry, entertaining, and adroitly written, Saratoga Payback is an immensely satisfying addition to Stephen Dobyns's popular mystery series.

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The latest installment in Stephen Dobyns's Charlie Bradshaw mysteries, Saratoga Payback follows the latest exploits of Saratoga Springs' most unusual and sardonic detective. 

Ever since the cops revoked his private investigator's license, Charlie Bradshaw has been adjusting to life as a regular senior citizen. But reading, sitting around the house, and making amateur home repairs is a far cry from his past life as Saratoga Springs' most successful everyman detective.

So when Charlie discovers the sprawled corpse of Saratoga Springs' biggest nuisance on his sidewalk, the ex-P.I. is torn. Should he risk asking questions of his own, knowing he could easily be prosecuted for doing P.I. work without a license? Or should he avoid the trouble and spend his twilight years in peace? Well, the case was practically delivered to his doorstep...

Saratoga Payback, the latest installment in Stephen Dobyns's critically praised Charlie Bradshaw Mysteries, follows Charlie as he toes the line between concerned private citizen and practiced private eye. As he begins to look into the murder of the town pest, Charlie also finds himself entangled in problem that is purely Saratogian--a mission to rescue an old acquaintance's kidnapped horse. Wry, entertaining, and adroitly written, Saratoga Payback is an immensely satisfying addition to Dobyns's popular mystery series.

Advance Galley Reviews

I'd never picked up a book by Stephen Dobyns before, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. At least once a chapter, I accosted my wyfe with "Let me just read you this line." Stephen Dobyns created an amusing and enjoyable romp with Saratoga Payback. Even the dead horses couldn't keep me at bay - and I'm pretty much a wimp about things like that. By the end of the book, I could see the characters clearly and wanted to spend more time with them. I'd never read any of the books in this series and I wouldn't have guessed I'd come into the middle of an ongoing saga. Perhaps readers familiar with the series would find it a bit repetitive, but for me the book stands on its own - no background required. Thrilling and humorous, Saratoga Payback takes you on a journey as accessible as it is outlandish. I quite enjoyed myself.

This is the first I've ever read of Dobyns and first foray into the capers of Charlie Bradshaw. It should be noted that I am a detective fiction obsessive, so from the get go this book was for me. There are a lot of characters for you to account for, but they are each fleshed out and important to remember. For fans of the greats like Chandler and Hammett, or any series of books with a snarky PI character. Great pace and premise. This book is an adventurous read.


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